My objective in this series of posts is to help you to think about the message your business sends by the simple things you do or don’t do. Right now I am mid-discussion regarding the pitfalls of using your cell phone as a business phone.
When starting a business, most people are expanding on an item, service or craft that they know from the inside out. They are good – probably excellent – at what they do and have great ideas and methods to provide the product or service to their end user. They are enthusiastic and willing to talk to anyone at any time about their new venture. For those reasons and also because they are trying to economize, they decide to run their business off their cell phone.
It seemed like such a good idea at the time… Joe could talk to a prospect about his product while driving his kids to school. Jill enjoyed the efficiency of being able to field a call and pitching her idea while driving to a dental appointment. Jason liked answering all of his customer’s calls personally so that they know he cares about their business. Jessica is building her business by always being personally available for her clients’ calls.
Two years later… Joe’s kids seem to argue every time he is on a business call. Sometimes his clients make negative joking comments about it. Jill was unable to extricate herself from a business call and was late for several other appointments; the dentist sent her a bill for $100.00. Jason has been very busy on jobs over the last few months and is quite tired at the end of the day. A few clients are annoyed that he will no longer take their calls in the evening. Jessica’s business is growing and she has not been available to answer every call as it comes in. She has had several clients complain that she doesn’t seem to care about their business as much as she used to.
Obviously, all of the above scenarios are fictional but I can guarantee that you could find someone who is living these lives right now. Don’t be that person!! When starting your business, don’t create an environment that is not sustainable. Think and then think again. Do I want to have to leave the movie theater to be fielding customer calls? Do I want to talk to that complainer at 8pm just because that’s when they call? Am I willing to take my phone on vacation so I don’t miss an opportunity? Should I put myself in a positon of answering the phone in anticipation of a huge contract or watching my daughter in the school play? I could go on and on and on… but, WAIT, there are ways to handle customer calls and still have a life!